Rake it? Maybe leaf it...

Dated: October 13 2020

Views: 97

One of the rites of autumn in northern climes is the raking of leaves that will suddenly cover our yards. We trudge out, flannel-clad, and diligently rake them all into piles, move them to the curb, and wait for them to be spirited away. Shoulders ache, noses run, fingers blister. 

But what if I told you there was another way. As I was scrolling Instagram this morning, I was reminded of another path by the great folks at Prairie Nursery. A native plant supplier, they posted this earlier today: 

Prairie Nursery instagram post

See, those leaves that we see as clutter or a tiresome chore waiting to happen really are important to a lot of things. They provide food and shelter to animals we thrill at seeing flutter around our yards in the warmer months. When we "clean up" our yards each autumn, we're often simply clearing habitat these critters need...making it all the more likely we won't see any of them next summer. And we all like seeing butterflies, right? 

Can't stand the idea of not raking? Well, leaves also make great mulch. Rake them onto your garden beds and they will help retain moisture and feed the soil as they breakdown. And not raking them to the curb will reduce runoff pollution of organic material into our storm sewers, helping to keep our lakes a little less green in the summers.

So why not consider leaving those leaves this year? Your home biome will thank you. :)

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David Pausch

In November of 2000, I closed on my first house, a rough-around-the-edges 1922 colonial with lots of sun, not a lot of storage, and an enormous oak tree in its postage stamp-sized back yard. From the ....

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